The White House is pushing back against claims that First Lady Melania Trump is being hypocritical for criticizing attacks on her teenage son Barron, but not her husband’s attack on 16-year-old Greta Thunberg
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Friday that Barron was in a different category from Thunberg because she’s a climate activist “who travels the world giving speeches.”
Grisham’s statement came one day after President Trump attacked TIME Magazine’s decision to dub Thunberg “Person of the Year.”
“So ridiculous,” Trump tweeted. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
After Trump’s attack, some accused Melania Trump of hypocrisy given that she had just defended her son Barron against a Stanford University law professor who mentioned him during a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.
“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” the first lady said in response to a quip by Pamela Karlan.
The first lady frequently receives criticism over the apparent irony in her fronting the “Be Best” anti-cyber-bullying campaign given her husband’s habit of mocking political opponents and others on Twitter.
“It is no secret that the president and first lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do,” Grisham said.
Former first lady Michelle Obama encouraged Thunberg while traveling in Vietnam this week, saying, “don’t let anyone dim your light,”
Mrs. Obama added: “Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all. Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.”
Thunberg responded to Trump’s attack by changing her Twitter profile description to describe herself as a “teenager working on her anger management problem.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.